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Determined Hoops hoping to stun Inter Milan at San Siro

| 26.02.2015

Inter Milan will host Celtic in their Europa League round of 32 second leg encounter, with Roberto Mancini’s men aiming to capitalise on their three away goals at Celtic Park and progress to the last 16.

Ronny Deila’s battling Bhoys, 5/1 with Coral to win, have an extremely tough task ahead of them at the San Siro, but the tie could have been truly out of reach if not for a courageous first leg comeback.

The Nerazzurri took an early lead after poor defending and a fatal goalkeeping error from Craig Gordon but, after pegging the clash back to 3-2, Swedish striker John Guidetti grabbed a last-gasp equaliser to give the Hoops hope.

Celtic’s approach must be positive for the reverse leg, as the Bhoys need to score in Italy against an Inter side, odds-on 8/15 favourites to win, who likely only need a draw to progress.

However, history is on the Glasgow giants’ side, having never been beaten in 90 minutes by the Serie A outfit in four attempts, with three clashes being drawn in normal time, and Celtic famously triumphing in the 1967 European Cup final held in Lisbon.

Both sides prepared for the European encounter with domestic league victories, as the Scottish Premiership leaders toppled Hamilton 4-0 and Mancini’s Italian league strugglers narrowly defeated Cagliari 2-1.

Deila’s men have been rocked by further defensive injury woes, with Charlie Mulgrew and Mikael Lustig both set to miss out, but Jason Denayer has recovered from a recent knock in time and could feature.

The travelling team may also be without Anthony Stokes, while full backs Jonathan and Yuto Nagatomo are both unavailable for home side Inter, and defenders Marco Andreolli, Damilo D’Ambrosio and Hugo Campagnaro all face late fitness tests.

Celtic have never won in their 11 trips to Italy, with their best results being draws against Udinese and Inter themselves, but the Bhoys are on a great run after winning nine of their previous 10 games in all competitions.

Their main threat will again be in-form Italian marksman Mauro Icardi, who has struck an impressive 16 times this term, including the winner in his side’s last league victory over Cagliari. The clinical centre forward is even-money to net again anytime this time out.

Celtic’s on-loan attacker Guidetti is 9/1 to bag the last goal of the match, after his superb injury time leveller at Celtic Park in the reverse fixture.

Recent new arrival Stuart Armstrong was also on target in the first leg, and is 5/1 to strike anytime and add to his two club goals already.

After a thrilling draw in Glasgow, Celtic will be aiming to overcome the odds and secure a place in the last 16 with a victory. The hopeful Hoops are available at 9/1 to win to nil at the San Siro.

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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.